Monumental: David Brower

Monumental depicts David Brower’s Fight for Wild America. From the part he played in passing the 1964 Wilderness Act through Congress to his instrumental role in saving the Grand Canyon, charismatic environmentalist David Brower demonstrates his commitment to saving the planet one cause at a time. Kelly Duane tells the story of David Brower and his quest to save at least some parts of the American wilderness. This documentary covers Brower’s agenda to protect the environment; how he successfully used the media as a tool in his war against the bureaucracy, of the battles he fought and usually won with the iron fist inside the velvet glove. This historic biographical film depicts the life of this relatively unknown man who pioneered and championed the environmental movement in this country. David Brower devoted 70 years of his life to preserving the beauty of America. His personal interest in Nature morphed to activism in 1930 during Great Depression, back when Save the Environment was not a subject of great interest. The strong presence of Brower’s personality made those early struggles come alive for me. Highlights of the film are old home movie footage of Yosemite and other National Parks before they became what they are today, using 16 millimeter footage shot by Brower himself to transport us back to the moments when The Sierra Club and Brower first realized their responsibility to act to save the wilderness for future generations. This doc is filled with wonderful old footage of wild American in the 1930s through the 1970s. It includes words from many famous Americans such as John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Lady Bird Johnson. It does an excellent job of showing the evolution of the environmental movement and the preservation of grand places. The accomplishments of David Brower are so important that the thought of any of his fights failing is unfathomable. Imagine dams causing sections of the Grand Canyon to flood, or no Redwood National Park? David Brower played an important part in passing the Wilderness Act in Congress (which created a legal definition wilderness). This Act set aside over 9 million acres of land and allowed this land to be protected by the National Parks Service, US Forest Service, USFWS, and BLM. Today these agencies protect over 106 million acres, providing a variety of recreation opportunities in each state. Thank God for people like Brower. His no compromise way of handling environmental issues in a peaceful and professional manner is a great example we could all learn from. This movie is about how this man’s passion and vision helped shape America. I knew of David Brower, but had been ignorant of just how important a person he was in shaping America, in fighting to protect some of this nation’s, in fact, this Earth’s, most awesome natural places. As someone who has cared for, fought for, and traveled much of wild America, I found this documentary educational and inspiring. In the end, I was left with a strong desire to get outdoors myself. If you like this film please look more into how you can help save our planet and still live with many of today’s modern conveniences. When it comes to our home, the planet Earth, it’s all we have and we must take better care of it. Things can’t change in a day but they can change for the better. Every American should stop to consider what life, our country, this world, would be like without the places David Brower saved from the great economic and industrial spoil. Every American should know this man’s name and thank him for what he did. If you have any interest in the outdoors, conservation or our national parks, this film is worth your time. Outstanding movie about an outstanding man during the first moments of the environmental movement. Great film. Highly recommended. A must-see. Documentary 2004 NR 1hr 17m.


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